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Witness

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00:30:00

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Comcast Cable

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Channel 24 (225 MHz)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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544

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480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 26, Judaism 4, Warren 3, Starhawk 2, Margot Adler 2, Susanna 1, John 1, Diana 1, Samhain 1, Jung 1, Diana 's Grove 1, Primordial Ooze 1, Isaac Walton 1, Mccomb 1, Atheistic 1, Winter Solstice 1, Grove 1, Shell 1, Lamas 1, Equinox 1,
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  LINKTV    Witness    Education. Stories provide  
   insight into key world events.  

    March 20, 2013
    7:30 - 8:00pm PDT  

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to the land, and to whatever motivated you to get into that car and go. >> and i would add a sense of empowerment that takes you further along your own path - whatever that might be - whether that's similar to our path or whether that's very different. >> so if my path is heading towards catholicism or judaism or whatever, that is not in conflict with what you're doing? >> no. >> it's not a conflict for us. >> are you open year-round, and do you have a brochure? >> yes! [laughter] >> i think it's interesting, because we've just been through a session on judaism - the ancient myths and rituals stories - and both starhawk and margot adler -
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came out of intellectual, atheistic, radical jewish families. they are, in a sense, the contemporary flowering of judaism, in the sense that they are returning to very ancient roots, that old rock upon which all the world's religions, i believe, have been based. >> now which changes not. >> huh? >> now which changes not. >> ah, yes. >> well, the jewish tradition, in other words, is fulfilled in both margot adler and starhawk - they're both jewish. >> yes. >> that's the point i made. >> yeah, and i think that does also fit - back with judaism, we were talking about different interpretations of the genesis story, the alienation story, and i love your myth about leaving the fires, leaving it and going out and becoming, so that more relationship could happen, more interaction could happen, and you can see it in that form. do you know what we wanted to do? well, i'll tell you.
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we actually thought a good way of perhaps illustrating what's going on here is to actually have a short ritual, and we've invited - perhaps if you'd like to come up, we've got a few members of the class that want to participate in this ritual, to see that - just a short instance of what kinds of earth-centered spirituality we really might do. and i'll let you explain the rituals. if you folks want to come up, come on up here and get in shape and hear what we're supposed to do, and give you a sense of what happens. there's no extra payment here for being extras on the set though. just so you know that. >> well, thank you for standing forward. what i wanted to do was for all of us together to move our consciousness back in a time
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to when we were clan, and when our spirituality was - and i believe is today - intimately connected with our survival. those were times of earth-based religions and earth-based spirituality. and in the most simple sense, the clan did not need to be inspired to do ritual and magical work, for our life depended on things like harvest and weather and growing and hunts. and today, metaphorically, it still is dependent on our interrelationship. so at that time, it was easy to inspire the clan to work magically together - because we cared about each other, and we knew that how we ate, and how we would survive the winter, was based on our magic, our connections with the god or the world or the goddess -
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our life force itself. so what i would like us to do is just pretend that you can speak directly to the wind, to the fire, to the water, to the earth, and as i ask you to personify those elements, i'm not asking you to believe that they are humanized, but i'm asking all of us to recognize that one of the ways we enable ourselves to destroy things is to dehumanize them. so if the air could listen to you, if the water could answer you, if the fire would come to your call, what the earth would give in response to your request, what would you say?
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ritual, in one of its definitions, is two words - the sanskrit for ritual can be translated two ways. one way is order-form; one way is art. so the order that we will work with is the request of the elements to come forth, and you, standing here, are the art, for you bring your heart and your own words to this form. so what i'd like us to do, who would like to speak to air? who would like to speak to the breath - of life and the breath within us? great. and who would like to speak to fire? all right. and who would like to speak to water?
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and i suppose that means you're speaking to earth. so we'll begin with that request, and when all those come together, i've asked john to mix the elements in that creation that is life. >> and i'll play a little drum background for you to do the speaking to the elements. we use a drum a lot just to - sometimes just to entertain the conscious mind, so something else can happen. >> and part of what we teach as the essence of our mystery school is that when anyone is willing to stand forth and do this kind of work, take this kind of risk, what the rest of us give that person is our absolute support. one of my beliefs is there are no mistakes - just sometimes true divine originality.
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>> often very creative. >> so, would you just ask the air, from your heart, to join us? [drums playing in background] >> from the breath, from the birth, you who lives in our center, and every cell of our being, and within every atom of our existence, ourselves, and still beyond all of these things, farther outside of any boundaries that any of us can even imagine. in you is life, in you is freedom, in you is wonder, in you is life. >> breath. air. join us. >> fire. >> fire, we need your warmth,
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to keep us from being too cold at night, and we need your light, so that we won't be afraid. and we also celebrate what looks like destruction - when things are burned, the fertilizer is made, so that new life can grow from the ashes of the fire. >> fire, join us. >> water. >> water, we have been born out of you, we have lived with you, you have lived in us. you have sustained us, cleansed us. we have savored your taste. the coolness. warmth.
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be always with us. >> water joins us. earth. >> rock. from whence we came, and whence we will go. that which we stand on, our whole lives take place in. you nourish us. you sustain us. giver of life. patience. solidity. timelessness. strength. earth. come into us.
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>> we called forth the breath and the spirit and the emotion in the body. will you mix them into life? >> mix them together. earth. earth, with its coolness and sustaining. air, with the coolness of breath. fire, warming. water. together, this primordial ooze, out of which you could feel it. >> ah, life comes. >> you could just stick your hands in this warm, hot mud, and we draw it out and we shape it, and whatever mythological or ritual or symbolic ways we want to go - as the hero, as the heroine - it's the stuff, the primordial ooze out of which we create identity, self-esteem, and relationship empowerment, and it's ours to play with, it's ours to do with, it's ours.
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>> ah. and that is the form that then contains the great story - all stories of creation - and all of us creators. you guys did a wonderful thing. >> that was fun! >> thank you! >> that was fun. beautiful! >> we've all got to hold hands just a minute! >> yeah. beautiful. >> just that sense of connection. thank you! >> thank you. >> thank you! >> thank you. >> thank you. >> great. >> thank you very much. >> that's the start of what we would do at diana's grove. we would bring it into the consciousness, honor it, and then create. >> yes. >> that's it. okay. >> and into that shell, a ritual lives. but that is the shell that holds it. and you are the priestesses and priests that invoked it.
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>> very cool. >> thank you! >> questions? comments? now we can - you see a little bit of that. but any questions you have about the motivations? i mean, we didn't rehearse this. i'm pretty blown away at - >> yeah, i am too. >> - at the spontaneity here. but you're drawn into it. here we are, under the hot lights in a classroom setting, an intellectual setting, but just in that short period of time - i don't know if other people that were standing up here or in the audience could feel it, but there was a transformative kind of an element that was happening. >> and certainly a bonding. >> yeah. sure. >> the fact that people kind of put themselves on the line and allowed themselves to be that vulnerable, in front of a group, is amazing. >> magic!
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>> magic. sure. >> my belief is that we are transformed by what we do, not by anything that can be done to us. >> but i just sat here and i was transformed. >> then thank you for joining us! >> sure. >> i felt the sharing of energy, and i believe in energy work. i was wondering if you practice any energy work - >> yes, we do. >> - because i'm a reiki master. do you do that type of work? >> we do a lot of sense of energy and how to move it, work with it, share it. >> which is what i think happened here just now. there was a communal energy joining us. >> definitely a change of - well, to me - also a logical change, a change of - >> i bet we could have recorded it, seriously if we had had the equipment in here to do it. >> i think you're right. >> go ahead, warren. >> i've had an interesting experience. starting, i thought, water is more primal
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than anything. but then, as i listened to the others, i thought, you can't have one without the other. >> good point. >> i mean, it was a totality. and one can't say, "because i'm not fire, i'm worthless," and breath can't say, "because i'm not water, i'm useless, or i'm better than the other one." and when you mixed it - >> i could feel that. i was standing here sort of self-consciously, thinking, "i have no idea what to say. what do i..." then all of a sudden - >> i thought you were pretty profound though. >> - it was like i'm mixing this junk and i could feel it. well, junk's not the right word, but these elements, ooh, it's kind of like playing with clay when you're a kid. sure. >> my question - and i think that i know the answer before i begin, because if you're not, you should - you have a wonderful healing power within this energy.
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do people come to you for spiritual healing? >> people do come with the intention of healing, for spiritual and emotional work, yes. >> and your success rate with this must be pretty high, because you develop an atmosphere that is so enveloping, and i should think that you had - that would be one of the key things people would come to you for. >> personal healing and transformation - truly empowering people to make the changes in their life. leaving with the knowledge that you're creating. >> and i think one of the things that i feel pretty strongly about is that we don't do healing to other people any more than we do ritual to other people. we very much believe that this is a co-creative process, and that people who want to heal may come to diana's grove, and they may find that healing within themselves, within the land, they may find it on the air, the breath, the breeze that comes to them.
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i don't think of myself as a healer. >> i didn't say that. i said the energy that you evoke must be very healing. and just the atmosphere which is - and if people come for a week, my goodness, they must go back on their tiptoes ready to dance, right? >> they do. >> sure. >> i came today with a resistance to the word magic - some other words, too - but magic, because in my childhood, i related magic to the fairytales and so on - enjoyable, but not real, not reality. and then you came out with this definition, that it's the art of changing consciousness and will. and in the ritual that you did, that's exactly what happened.
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so now i know what magic is, and i appreciate magic as reality. >> thank you. >> good. well said. sure. fire away. >> the four elements, when they asked you to combine them, that really - i couldn't get a handle on that until you started talking about the primordial mud and slime and all of that gook that's on the - that we look at and we say that's where we came from, according to evolution. and i couldn't quite get how to mix it, but i had a feeling of this kind of thing, of starting from the muck and the gook, you kind of - and i didn't know what to form of it. i thought at first of a curvy shape i had in mind.
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>> now, this is a family class. >> i'm trying to be delicate. but then it was like this is, i think, a universal symbol of openness, worship, whatever you want, and i thought of the mud rising up to worship the universe, whatever. >> or, god creating man. >> yeah. the creation story was being told right here. >> a creation myth. amazing. chris? >> i really felt close to everyone in the group, but i also, through gsu and under these hot lights, i felt connected to the earth, i felt like a revitalizing energy and a strength and a steadiness and a calmness, and serenity of an open plain,
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with the strength of a mountain. and listening to everyone talk about it, i felt connected, and not just for here, but with everything. and that was really neat. i guess that's what i had to say. but it was cool. everybody should try that. >> i know, i think they will. we talked about alienation myths in here, and you're talking about the opposite of alienation, which is reconnection, and it struck me that we are - particularly in this cultural setting, trained to be alienated from our connection to those primal elements. like somehow this occurs, and i think just that short exercise had such - like you say, chris, it had a peaceful feeling, or a grounding feeling literally
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in this primordial ooze. sure. >> one of the things i like about being in this building and being in this particular area is when i'm feeling really just caught up in stress, i can go outside and there's a lake and there's benches and there's - and it seems like only five minutes later, i feel so much better. so there is a very strong connection for me and i think for everybody with nature, and we're just not usually allowed to go out and seek it when we need it. >> the one thing that is so beautiful about what is coming out here, even from an educational point of view, is we're really understanding earth-centered spirituality. i mean, it's more than understand it - we're seeing the kind of activity that inspires you and others who follow along this path, it's a - >> we're experiencing nature. >> yeah. sure. >> i was just thinking, if exactly what each of you
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individuals said were now to be repeated, if it was written down in a service book, would we be able to recapture that magic, or would it be ho-hum because it was standardized? >> can i also add something to that that might help is that - what you're saying is could there be a standard what we might call a liturgical set of holidays. and we haven't mentioned that, but you do go through a set of rituals that are based on an earth-centered calendar, and maybe you can say a few words about that in answering the question. >> yes. i can talk about the wheel of the year. my belief is that it really is the art, and that even the most inspired reading of someone else's
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feelings does not engage of the same heart and the same vulnerability and the same beauty as you four did, standing and speaking from your heart, and that that is a change in the spiritual paradigm. >> another piece of what we often do is we sometimes will call to invoke those elements not with words, but with dance, or with sound, with music, with the flute, with just the drum. so that might be hard to put in a book. >> susanna? >> i wonder if what we're talking about as magic, too, might also be expressed as like being in grace? >> oh, yes. >> in a state of grace. >> oh, yes. >> it seems to me that's what grace has always meant - you're connected. >> we sometimes call it in trance - in trance. >> well, grace -
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i think we experience that in the catholic tradition, that's what they were called. >> we do work with the - some holidays - >> yeah, that might be interesting to get some background on. >> wheel of the year is simply the relationship - actually, if you want to step into mythology - my belief is it is the love story of the earth and the sun. and so when we have a wheel of the agricultural year, it begins with that verb, and conception at winter solstice, and the quickening of life at the midyear in february, and then the birth of everything that has the courage to sprout with the spring equinox, to come into its fullness in may, to reach its pinnacle right now at summer solstice. and then, as all living things do, begin to offer itself back
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to life, with our celebrations of harvest - august, lamas, the first harvest, when the first tomatoes are ripe at your own gardens, and peaches. fall equinox, when we gather together for the larger harvest. then in november, samhain - or halloween - when we recognize that all things die, and that the energy goes to the root, to the unseen source beneath the surface, that gives way to the conception at winter solstice for another cycle of life and becoming. so it's a love story between earth and sun, and the endless children that are life. >> and we can mythologize that not just as earth-based in terms of what are we growing in our fields, which a lot of us are not quite as in touch with as our ancestors may have been, but what are we growing in our hearts, what are we growing in our souls, what are we growing
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in our lives. and what has come to fruition at this point in our lives? and what is it time to let go of? so we work with the cycles of the year, the wheel of the year, and we work with it often in a very personal way for each individual. >> what i've been listening and watching to reminds me so often of when i go for a walk by myself around isaac walton or in our local forest preserve, and no one's with me, but i'm just feeling myself and what's around and communing with nature, i guess. >> yes. yes. >> it's a very healing force. i mean, people say, well, why do you want to live in mccomb, out in the middle of nowhere, but there's a peace that comes to that. i mean, one of my peak experiences that i do regularly is there's a beautiful, beautiful hilly park with a lake in the middle out there, and because there's no people
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in western illinois anyway, there's nobody in the park. and so, i'm running all these trails, and it's like being inside of nature, just totally connected in the running, in the movement, in the air, the earth - all the elements are right there, and it's very renewing, it really is. and these kinds of experiences are - they're lost on us, and even if you live in the country, there's that element in the urban atmosphere that draws us away, either through tv or whatever. yeah, warren? >> i was thinking of a psychologist, jung, and his idea of the collective unconsciousness. i think in the west, we have been so heady - think, you've got to think, you better - all this kind of thing. my wife and i both have studied it, and it seems like there's dimensions. being raised in this culture,
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i wasn't even aware, and this kind of thing, this ritual we went through, just kind of - like i actually kind of experienced that, rather than just reading about it. maybe not real deep, but it kind of like was really a little door opening. there was another aspect of it, though, that all four of these elements, i think we took them as very positive things, but each one does have its negativity also. but it's like balance - the balance between a fire, we derive much, our food is cooked on it, we stay warm; it gets out of control, well, then... we don't have to belabor the point, but all four of them - earthquakes, where the ground under you, >> i see what you're saying, warren.
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that's the idea. i think what we're seeing here is a theme that we've been developing throughout the semester, which is that spiritual impulse towards interconnectedness, towards unity, and we're certainly seeing here. we've run out of time, but i want to thank you both so much for coming and sharing. >> thank you. >> it's obviously one of the major classes we've had. >> thank you.
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